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Experience a science museum or aquarium after dark with an overnight science experience. Invite young children (or those young at heart) for a trip to the museum unlike no other. Avoid the crowds and have a look around the exhibits or invite experts to give special presentations or hands-on workshops. Followed by a pizza party and a night under the stars (or skeletons).


Target Audience
  • Adult citizens
  • Children 7-12
  • Families

You can do it with all those groups, but we did it with professionals from different fields like public engagement or the cultural and creative sector.



If these activities are planned well, they can create timeless memories that will impact your audience for the rest of their lives. It is a great way for the general public to experience science in a novel way and to interact with researchers and experts and the work they do either behind the scenes at the museum or in the research they conduct. There is a also a great level of versitility in the types of activities you could focus on at these events.


This activity works best in institutes that are public-facing, such as museums, aquariums, science centres, etc, so you would need to work in partnership with such an organisation. You need to decide who your key audience is for the event and design activities that would suitable for these participants, these could include guided tours, workshops, presentations, and talks. Depending on the resources you have available, these could be organised in house by the museum (other organisation) or you may invite external experts or contributors. You may also need to consider providing food and drinks to guests.

You will need to check the health and safety regulations and risk assessments, and if you are working with children, appropriate clearing and checks might be required for any staff who are present (although most museum staff and similar would most likely already be cleared to work with children).

You will need to inform guests of the timetable for the evening, and also let them know what they need to bring to the event.

You would need to start marketing at least one month before the event.


For a list of practical tips on how to organise a sleep over in a museum check out this handy guide.

Check out the information page from the Fairbanks Museum‘s Group Sleepovers event for an example timetable.